police test questions for captainThe Police Captain Exam

Here are the textbooks you should use to prepare for your promotion to captain in a police or sheriff's department. Police promotion exams with 500+ questions, from over 100 great textbooks, are now available.

Here is our current list of all 120+ police promotion exams

police captain exam Police Administration - A Leadership Approach

What are the best textbooks to study to prepare for your written police captain exam?

Which textbooks are chosen for your written police captain's promotion exam depends on if you are working for a large agency (150+ sworn) or a medium agency (50 - 150 sworn) or a small agency (under 50 sworn). You will need to use your judgment and knowledge of how the rank of captain is considered and structured in your specific agency; is it considered middle-management, top management, or as an executive manager, i.e. assistant or deputy chief? The biggest difference being, of course, as an executive you need to be able to step in to lead your agency at any moment, so the demands in education are much higher.

Promotional Exams for a police captain promotion from any or all of the great textbooks listed on this page can be taken by you to use as study material within the Advanced Police Promotional Testing Course at PoliceCareer.com. You can also practice with a police sample in-basket assessment.

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Common Sense Police Supervision: Practical Tips for the First-Line Leader

In my own career I rose to the rank of lieutenant, normally not considered upper management or executive rank. But we had eliminated the rank of captain and expanded the pay and duties of lieutenants, and cut the executive rank structure to be only one deputy chief and a chief of police. So, I was in a special spot - as the senior lieutenant - I still was a division commander, but in the absence of the deputy chief or chief or both, as the senior lieutenant I was expected to fill in as acting deputy chief and even acting chief of police, which I did on numerous occasions.

There are many textbooks that stand out for a police captain promotion, all of which I have written numerous exams from for the captain rank. Any of them can be used in a small, medium or large agency, since they each contain a comprehensive summary of supervisory, management, administration and leadership principles.

Also, besides those below, you should consider adding books to your police captain promotion reading list that cover the areas of COP/POP, Criminal Investigation, Leadership, Intelligence-led Policing, Ethics and also national and state legal titles.

My BEST piece of advice on this page? If you believe you are heading to a captain promotion test any time in the future, you need to own and constantly read the material in the below 8 textbooks. They are listed below not in any particular order.

Leadership and Management in Police Organizations Leadership and Management in Police Organizations - Giblin 1E
From Me: Excellent new title with an emphasis on applying classic studies of leadership and police management to the new organizational problems law enforcement faces today. From the publisher; Built on a foundation of nearly 1,200 references,  Leadership and Management in Police Organizations is a highly readable text that shows how organizational theory and behavior can be applied to improve the operations, leadership, and management of law enforcement. Author Matthew J. Giblin emphasizes leadership and management as separate skills in successful police supervisors and executives, illustrating to students how the two skills combine to improve individual and organizational efficacy in policing. Readers will come away with a stronger understanding of why organizational decisions  matter and the impact research can have on police departments. Visit us for the Leadership and Management in Police Organizations - Giblin 1E exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards.

police leadership & administration a 21st century strategic approachPolice Leadership and Administration: A 21st-Century Strategic Approach  - Walsh and Vito First Edition 2018 - Police Leadership and Administration trains police leaders and managers to search for strategic solutions, rather than relying on old formulas and scientific management principles. It shows how to tailor responses to the unique problems and issues that law enforcement professionals are likely to face in the complex field of police leadership, providing a foundation with which to adapt to an ever-changing criminal justice climate. This book is essential for forward-thinking police leadership courses in colleges and professional training programs. This textbook is an excellent candidate for police promotion exams for the rank of lieutenant, captain and higher management and executive posiitons. Visit us for the posted 380+ question exam for Police Leadership and Administration: A 21st-Century Strategic Approach.

The New World of Police Accountability 3E Walker - Highly detailed, hard-hitting and thorough textbook for mid and upper management police promotional exams covering research, background and implementation of all aspects of the new age of police accountability we are in. A detailed look at all accountability systems.

Police leadership exam written testEffective Police Leadership - Moving Beyond Management, by Thomas E. Baker. From me; A very important leadership book I have used often to write a police captain exam. From the publisher; In this much-anticipated 5th Edition, Tom Baker expands on the revolutionary leadership insights that made his first two editions so popular. This enhanced and expanded version explores even more strategies that help agencies, administrators and officers leverage crime data more efficiently and effectively. From explaining what a leader must be, do & know, to plans for putting expert-level leadership skills to work immediately, Effective Police Leadership is gold for law enforcement leaders. Great leaders aren't born, they're made...and this book makes them! Visit us for the Effective Police Leadership exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards.

Leading Cops in Turbulent TimesLeading Cops in Turbulent Times by Capt (ret) George Saadeh. From me; Excellent new leadership and management title. Well-researched timely perspective on police leadership. Now being used in police sergeant, lieutenant, captain and upper management exams. From the publisher; Leading Cops in Turbulent Times is a clear roadmap to building high-performing organizations and teams for current or aspiring public safety leaders. Whether you're a police sergeant, lieutenant, captain or even Chief or Sheriff, this book will help you build or improve the hard and soft skills that are essential to great leadership. It is replete with practical, common-sense advice and examples from historical figures and contemporary leaders that will crystalize in your mind how to build or improve your leadership skills. Visit us for the Leading Cops in Turbulent Times exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards.

police lieutenant examination for promotionFixing Broken Windows - Kelling and Coles. From me; This is an in-depth and comprehensive textbook that details the 1990s experience of police agencies around the nation implementing "order maintenance" as a focus in order to cut back crime. There has been a resurgence of interest in the Order Maintenance / Broken Windos / Crime Reduction topics and this textbook has started to be used in promotion exams including our difficult police captain exam.

From the publisher; Based on a groundbreaking theory of crime prevention, this practical and empowering book shows how citizens, business owners, and police can work together to ensure the safety of their communities. George Kelling, one of America’s leading criminologists, has proven the success of his method across the country, from the New York City subways to the public parks of Seattle. Here, Kelling and urban anthropologist and lawyer Catherine Coles demonstrate that by controlling disorderly behavior in public spaces, we can create an environment where serious crime cannot flourish, and they explain how to adapt these effective methods for use in our own homes and communities.

 Visit us for the Fixing Broken Windowsl exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards.

police captain examPolice Administration - A Leadership Approach - Ortmeier, Davis. This is the textbook I would most recommend for a police captain exam for a small to medium-sized agency. From the publisher; Police Administration: A Leadership Approach was written to support the need for a text that addresses supervision and management as well as ethics, leadership, and the principles of policing that form the foundation for efficient, effective, and lawful administration of the modern police service. Unlike other texts, this book blends theory with practice. It presents a foundation for the administration and management of a police agency in a logical, flexible, and understandable step-by step process. Visit us for the Police Administration - A Leadership Approach exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards.

Reducing Crime - a Companion for Police Leaders - 1EReducing Crime - a Companion for Police Leaders - 1st Edition by Jerry Ratcliffe. This is a very detailed and well researched but easy to read treatment of modern crime control strategies surrounding the concept of Intelligence-led and evidence-based policing. Great choice for Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain and upper-management promotion exams. Visit us for the Reducing Crime - A Companion for Police Leaders 1st Edition exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards.

police administration structures processes behavior examPolice Administration: Structures, Processes, and Behaviors - Swanson, Territo and Taylor 10th Edition. From me; One of my all-time favorite Police Administration textbooks.
From the publisher; Built on the foundation of its authors’ decades of experience in law enforcement, training, and teaching, and updated to reflect recent subjects and concerns in the field of police work, this 10th Edition of Police Administration: Structures, Processes, and Behaviors blends a comprehensive introduction to police administration with key supporting details. Content is comprehensively illustrated with relevant, never-before-seen photographs, original tables and diagrams, cases studies, and “Current Event” boxes that provide thorough explanations of recent events. In this updated edition, the authors explore the evolution of American policing and modern organizational issues. This best-selling text vividly and effectively introduces students to the procedures, politics, and human relations issues that police supervisors and administrators must understand in order to succeed. Visit us for the Police Administration: Structures, Processes, and Behaviors exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards.

police captain exam textbookPolice Administration - Gaines and Worrall - From the publisher; Police Administration, Gaines and Worrall, now in its third edition, will give criminal justice students and practitioners the concrete knowledge to ascend through the ranks to become a chief, sheriff or other high ranking law enforcement official. "On the Job" boxes highlight insights by working police administration professionals. Key issues such as conflict resolution, human resources, budgeting and collective bargaining become clear with the use of sample forms and documents used by police organizations from around the country. Homeland security and terrorism, topics that have recently come to the forefront of police administration, are also covered. Visit us for the Police Administration - Gaines and Worrall exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards.

the police manager examThe Police Manager - Green, Lynch and Lynch - From me; This is a widely used textbook for police exams for Lt. and above, and it is one of my two or three favorites. It would be suitable for an upper-management exam for a small or medium agency.
From the publisher; The Police Manager gives practical, field-tested guidance to students and professionals who aspire to leadership roles in law enforcement, providing a comprehensive explanation of issues and challenges that they will face as police managers. The book is divided into four parts, covering historical and philosophical underpinnings, behavioral aspects of police management, functional aspects of police management, and major issues in modern police work. Visit us for The Police Manager exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards.

police leadership textbookChallenging the Law Enforcement Organization - Proactive Leadership Strategies by Jack Enter, Ph.D. Great book. Well written, no jargon. Short enough but not too short. You should read it, then put it down for a month or two, then read it again. From the publisher; Among the topics discussed are chapters on the impact of living and policing an unskilled and violent society, why law enforcement managers fail to successfully impact their agencies, and chapters on self-management, communication, motivation, and being more effective in our personal lives. Many of these latter “strategy” chapters have examples of proactive techniques used by law enforcement managers as well as “action items” to apply the principles examined in each chapter. Visit us for the Challenging the Law Enforcement Organization exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards.

Managing and Leading Today's PoliceManaging and Leading Today's Police: Challenges, Best Practices, and Case Studies provides a comprehensive insider’s view into the challenging work of police leaders at all levels of management. Using a problem-based learning approach, the authors draw on their extensive practical experience to critique the organizational, personnel, and operational issues facing police agencies and to assert “what works” in contemporary police management. The 4th edition is a major revision, moving from a supervision to a management perspective. It covers new policing strategies, methods, and technologies transforming the field and demanding new knowledge of police supervisors, managers, and leaders. Managing and Leading Today's Police: Challenges, Best Practices, Case Studies  - Peak 4E exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards..

police captain exam promotion textbookPolice Administration - Wilson, Fyfe, Greene, and Walsh 5th Edition 1997 - YES - this is an old textbook. But it is still used in management exams, for a good and valid reason. One of its authors and contributors is O.W. Wilson, AND almost all of the material is still pertinent to upper and executive management positions today. From the publisher; Perhaps no other book in policing has captured more admiration and market share than O.W. Wilson's "Police Administration". Now Wilson's text has been revised by three top scholars in the field. This long awaited revision combines the nuts and bolts approach of the original with an up-to-date theoretical and policy perspective that makes it accessible to students and practitioners alike. Visit us for the Police Administration - Wilson exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards.

Emotional Survival for Law EnforcementEmotional Survival for Law Enforcement - A Guide for Officers and Their Families - 1st Edition and 2021 Update - From me: This excellent textbook is often used in police corporal, sergeant, lieutenant and Captain exams. This title should be required reading in all law enforcement agencies and in all police academies, with copies for each police family member. From the publisher; Dr. Gilmartin is a behavioral scientist who specializes in issues related to law enforcement. With twenty years of police experience under his belt, he currently provides service to the law enforcement community as a consultant. In writing this book, it was his goal to aid officers and their families in maintaining and/or improving their quality of life both personally and professionally. Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards.

Rising Through The RanksRising Through The Ranks - Leadership Tools and Techniques for Law Enforcement. From the Author and Publisher: Effective leadership is a journey, not a destination. Rising through the Ranks will be the starting point in that journey for thousands of men and women in law enforcement. Telling real stories of leadership and courage from police departments and investigative agencies, former DEA Leadership Fellow and Pittsfield, Massachusetts Police Chief Mike Wynn is the perfect author. As the only book of its kind, Rising through the Ranks will prepare effective leaders from local police officers to federal agents. From me: This is a short but very descriptive and hard-hitting book on leadership and courage in the face of adversity. Very good choice for promotion "through the ranks" from corporal through captain. Rising Through the Ranks promotion exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards.

Police Captain exam written test and oral board questionsLocal Government Police Management - 4th Edition by ICMA Press. - YES - this is another old textbook (2003). But it also is still widely used in management exams, also for a good and valid reason. It is a compendium from a great variety of management and leadership sources, making it unique in presenting solid, proven material from these numerous sources, all of which are clearly cited. From the publisher; This brand new revision of ICMA’s classic police management reference includes new coverage of such cutting-edge issues as terrorism and community security, leadership and managing change, setting standards and measuring performance, information management and technological innovations, and strengthening police-community partnerships. It provides information for local government administrators and police executives on managing patrol, prevention, investigations, and transportation services; the special challenges of local drug control and criminal organizations; internal functions such as human resources, planning, and facilities design; and linkages with other governmental and nongovernmental agencies and service providers, including crime laboratories. The volume emphasizes the importance of personal leadership by the chief in facilitating change, setting standards, and fostering integrity. Visit us for the Local Government Police Management exam, test questions, study guide and flashcards.

Promotional Exams for any or all of these great textbooks can be taken by you to use as study material within the Advanced Police Promotional Testing Course at PoliceCareer.com. You can also practice with a police management sample in-basket assessment.

Are YOU prepared to respond to these police captain oral board questions?


"How would YOU describe your knowledge and of police management and administration?"

"How have you, or will you, apply this knowledge?"

"What do you feel MOST qualifies you to be promoted into this very important department position?"

"This management position is all about community and leadership. Describe in detail your own philosophy of community and problem oriented policing, and how you are prepared to provide leadership in these areas on day one in your new rank."



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The #1 BEST WAY to Prepare for Police Promotion Exams? Study the Textbooks!
Patrol and Field Operations
Criminal Investigation
Community and Problem-oriented Policing - POP/COP
Police Ethics
Intelligence-Led Policing
Police Legal Textbooks - Law Officer's Pocket Manual and others
Police Leadership
Police Special Topics, such as below;
National Incident Management System
President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing
Performance-based Management

Police Report Writing
Multicultural Law Enforcement
Why Law Enforcement Organizations Fail

Exam Questions for Police Captain
Police Corporal - Sergeant Lieutenant - Captain and Above Promotion Testing
Corporal Exam
Sergeant Exam
Lieutenant Exam
Captain Exam
Management and Administration Exams
Promotion Oral Boards (Detective, Corporal, Sergeant and above)
Promotion Assessment Centers (Sergeant and above)
Police Promotion In-Basket (Sergeant and above)

police captain written exam questionsAdvanced Police Promotion Testing Course

Study with hundreds more police captain test questions using the Advanced Police Promotion Testing Course at PoliceCareer.com

Sign up for our police promotion newsletters. You will be able to take free promotion exams online to try out our system, including hundreds of questions from your textbooks, and also receive information on police oral boards, in-basket and assessment center topics.

Case Law Pro is the best method for officers to learn the law and prepare for upcoming exams and assessment center exercises!

CaseLawPro will improve your scores in promotional written exams, oral boards and assessment centers by studying hundreds of factual law enforcement scenarios, and identifying correct as well as incorrect responses to each one. Keep your legal skills sharp, updated and tested - ready for the next round of promotion exams and assessments!

police capt testPolice Captain Promotion Test Questions

Police Captain Promotion Question 1:
A central unresolved tension at the core of police relations with society is the
tension between crime fighting and ______________.
A problem solving
B professional crime fighting
C community policing
D non-crime service functions

Police Captain Promotion Question 2:
Successfully leading change at any level of the organization is the result of
A innate behavior
B learned behavior
C organizational motivators
D political mandates

Police Captain Promotion Question 3:
More than any other feature, it is the emphasis on __________ that differentiates
the modern patrol operation from earlier forms of policing.
A community input
B alternate police responses
C systematic problem solving
D crime analysis

Police Captain Promotion Question 4:
The most widely employed application of analysis to crime control is known as
A crime analysis
B spatial analysis
C tactical analysis
D none of the above

Police Captain Promotion Question 5:
The principle of proportionality detailed in the federal case Groves v. United
States of America was focused directly at
A police application of deadly force
B police department patrol beats in high-crime minority neighborhoods
C police vehicle pursuit policies
D racial profiling

Police Captain Promotion Question 6:
Don Weatherburn in 2004 identified five features of a rational approach to crime control. All five are listed below, not in order. Which one is essential as a first stage in determining whether policies are successful in combating crime?
A commitment to rigorous evaluation
B reliance on evidence in the development of policy
C a flexible and eclectic approach to control
D open access to crime and justice information
E adequate investment in measuring and monitoring